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Survey: More than half of contractors not confident in client IR35 determinations


According to new research from insurance broker Kingsbridge, 55 per cent of contractors don’t believe that their end client is prepared for the upcoming changes to IR35. The findings, from a survey of more than 2,700 contractors, come just a week before the new rules come into force.

In contrast, the survey also found that 73 per cent of participants that they were either prepared or at least somewhat prepared ahead of the new rules starting April 6.

However, along with a lack of trust in client determinations, 69 per cent of respondents said that being deemed “inside IR35” meant they would either need to charge a higher rate or leave. A mere 14 per cent said they would accept being ruled “inside IR35”.

The research also highlighted the struggles self-employed workers have experienced during COVID-19, with 70 per cent of participants in the survey saying that had received no government support during the pandemic thus far.

Kingsbridge Head of Tax Andy Vessey commented: “The findings of our survey are quite alarming reading for employers who want to continue attracting highly-skilled and flexible contractors after the deadline.”

“It’s clearly been a difficult year for contractors, with the combined effects of COVID-19 and Brexit already weighing heavily on their shoulders, and IR35 is yet another challenge to contend with. Engagement and communication with these individuals in the final weeks ahead of the deadline and beyond will be key to ensuring that this significantly valuable resource doesn’t dwindle after 6th April.”

However, Vessey added, if IR35 “is understood, enacted fairly and communicated effectively, then contractors will be able to keep working in the way that they want to and end clients can prove that they are employing them legitimately and legally outside IR35.”

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